Software-defined storage can deliver great agility and cost savings -- if you watch for these caveats:
I happened upon the notion of software-defined storage several years ago when I was still leading software engineering at Dell’s storage business unit. One of the benefits of working at a place so large is that there are usually quite a few people around championing all sorts of new ideas because they might involve selling more servers. You get to review a lot of far-out stuff. With this in mind, it wasn’t without some skepticism that I listened to the following pitch from one of my colleagues: “Take the storage-controller firmware and get it to run on Linux as a virtual machine. We can bundle it with our servers and sell a ton of it.”
I asked how such a thing would be supported. Truthfully, I probably said something like, “Are you going to call us when the commodity gizmos in your boxes have a bug that causes the customer to lose data?” This caused my colleague to ponder support questions and other practical realities. However, the idea kept coming back from all corners of the organization.